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The Lešná chateau area is located in the eastern part of the Czech Republic and was established in 1804. It is closely connected with Seilern family, who owned Lukov castle and lands nearby. Lukov castle didn´t provide enough comfort for its residents, therefore the Seilern family decided to build a new, more comfortable mansion nearby. The building began in 1804 and finished in 1807. The mansion had two floors and 21 windows on each floor. The building was used only in the summer, the tenants preferred to stay in Austria during winter months.

Franz Seilern was a very significant person for the chateau´s development. He had the old building demolished in 1885 and a brand new, much more luxurious building was built on this site. The architects were from Vienna - Johann Mick, who designed also the surrounding of the chateau, and Viktor Siedek, who designed most of the interiors. The building can show several architectural styles: Neo-Renaissance, Neo-Gothic, Romantic and Swiss style. The luxurious interiors provided the best comfort of its time: Electricity, running water, flushing toilets, even a telephone. There were rooms for the owners and representative spaces on the ground floor and guest rooms on the first floor. There was a spacious park surrounding the chateau, later re-built to a ZOO. The Seilern family owned the chateau till 1945. After the end of the WWII, the chateau was confiscated by the state. Now it belongs to Zlín city.

The Seilern family, especially Franz Seilern (1859-1919) had a huge impact on the development of the whole Lukov area - farms with cattle and horses, deer park, brewery, distillery, brickyard, powerplant, and more.

Another significant person was Joseph Seilern (1883-1939), who was a keen zoologist interested especially in ornithology, and also a traveler. He wrote several books about his travels and animal and also brought exhibits from his expeditions. He founded a ZOO and a museum which were open to the public.

Sarlota Seilern (1860-1946) was famous for her philantrophy and religiousness. She founded a local orphanage, charity center, school and home for old people.

Nowadays, the chateau, which is located inside the ZOO, is open for the public. You can take a guided tour there and also see reptile terrariums in the basement. It is a popular wedding place, too.


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